Politico: Return of the Clinton Scandals
The grim forced march to a Hillary Clinton coronation just got a little grimmer. The Hillary email scandal — on top of the revelation of continuing foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state — is a nice reminder for Democrats about what they are signing up for.
The Clinton Restoration will require routinely defending the indefensible. It will require recalibrating all legal and ethical standards to suit the personal and financial interests of the Clintons. It will require a willingness to use these phrases with a shameless abandon: “old news,” “everybody does it” and “not technically illegal.”
Usually the advantage of having been around national politics forever is that there are no surprises lurking in the background. But what should be the most vetted couple in the world always needs just a little more vetting.
The Clintons come from the Frank Underwood school of politics. What unites Bill’s roguish charm and Hillary’s relentless determination is an eye for the main chance, with adherence to the rules optional.
Hillary Clinton’s self-serving email arrangement is not the worst example, but it is textbook. Pretty much anyone in government knew that if you used your private account for official business, you had to copy your government account for record-keeping purposes. But Hillary didn’t even have a government account.
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The New York Times: Associated Press Threatens Legal Action Over Request for Hillary Clinton Information
The Associated Press said Wednesday that it was considering legal action over unfulfilled Freedom of Information Act requests for government documents covering Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
In its requests, the AP asked for her full schedules and calendars and for details on the State Department’s decision to grant a special position to a longtime Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, among other documents. The oldest request, the news organization said, was made in March 2010.
“We believe it’s critically important that government officials and agencies be held accountable to the voters,” said AP’s general counsel, Karen Kaiser. “In this instance, we’ve exhausted our administrative remedies in pursuit of important documents and are considering legal action.”
The statement comes after the revelation this week that Mrs. Clinton used a personal email account for her government business, an unusual practice that some have suggested insulated her correspondence from the eyes of investigators and the public.
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New Hampshire Union Leader: Presidential contenders start to descend on Granite State (continued to South Carolina)
Former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, will be a guest speaker at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on May 9. Back by popular demand? O’Brien, who is Republican Majority Caucus leader in the state House of Representatives, spoke to a similar event Citizens United held in Iowa back in January.“
Now, more than ever, is the time to really set the path for 2016,” O’Brien says. “It’s imperative and necessary for conservative leaders to express different ideas and solutions on conservative philosophy and leadership. After witnessing the great success from the previous Citizens United Freedom Summits, I am excited to participate in this grassroots experience.”
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The Des Moines Register: Steve King to speak at South Carolina Freedom Summit
Steve King will speak at the South Carolina Freedom Summit on May 9, the Palmetto State's version of a conservative forum he hosted earlier this year in Des Moines, organizers said.
The conservative nonprofit Citizens United joined King to organize January's Iowa Freedom Summit, an event that drew a parade of Republicans eying presidential runs. The South Carolina version, presented by Citzens United and South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, looks to do the same for the early primary state.
Three likely candidates seen at Iowa's summit have confirmed for the South Carolina one so far: Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and Rick Santorum. Others mulling a 2016 run, including Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina senator, will also speak at Greenville's Peace Center along with other conservative figures including King.
Organizers said they will announce more speakers soon.
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New York Post: George Pataki to join potential GOP presidential candidates at event
WASHINGTON – Former Gov. George Pataki is about to join a throng of potential Republican presidential candidates appearing at high-profile speaking events in South Carolina and Iowa – and he’ll be emphasizing his down-on-the-farm roots.
“I’m from New York and I probably spent more of my life on a farm than anybody out there,” Pataki told The Post, referring to rival Republicans, days before heading out to one GOP event, the Iowa Agriculture Summit.
Pataki will attend the upcoming South Carolina Freedom Summit in Greenville, conservative group Citizens United is set to announce Thursday, along with Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).
Pataki grew up on a family Peekskill farm with “everything from corn to tomatoes starting with strawberries in the spring and running through apples and pumpkins in the fall.” Now, he and his wife, Libby, run a farm that sells cherries, hay, and has 85 head of cattle.
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Citizens United files FOIA request with State Department
Requesting former Secretary Clinton’s private schedules
Washington, D.C. –Today, Citizens United filed a FOIA request with the Department of State. The language of the request is below:
This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
According to public reporting, Secretary Hillary Clinton maintained a private schedule.1 During Secretary Clinton’s tenure, Lona Valmoro and Linda Dewan served as the Secretary’s schedulers.
The records I request can be described as follows:
Any and all records, in any format, that concern, mention, or reference a schedule, appointment, event, appearance, or any other anticipated commitment of presence or communication be it known by any other name, of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that was created by, sent by, and/or sent to, Secretary Clinton and/or the Secretary’s schedulers Lona Valmoro and/or Linda Dewan.
Where exemptions to the Freedom Of Information Act are discretionary, I ask you not withhold such records, even if they might qualify for withholding under the law. If you withhold any records as exempt, please redact the exempted portions and release the remainder of the records. Please release all reasonably segregable material. In any case where you withhold any records, please explain in writing any such denial.
Time Period: January 21, 2009 – February 1, 2013
1. See, “The White House had instructed Hillary’s highly trusted personal scheduler, Lona Valmoro, to list only ‘meeting’ on the private schedule distributed to her aides. It was an unusual notation.” Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, HRC, Random House, 2015, p. 233
Congressman Steve King to speak at the South Carolina Freedom Summit
Greenville, SC – Today, Citizens United and Congressman Jeff Duncan are pleased to announce that Iowa Representative Steve King will speak at the “South Carolina Freedom Summit” in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday, May 9th 2015.
“Citizens United is excited and honored to once again to have Congressman King join us for our South Carolina Freedom Summit this coming May. With momentum and success from our previous partnership at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines and then the New Hampshire Freedom Summit in Manchester, it has never been a better time to organize conservative leaders and supporters at this exciting grassroots event,” said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United “This is a free event, focusing on how America can get back on the right path by highlighting guest speakers who will talk about economic growth, social conservatism, and a strong national defense. We are eager to host Congressman King and look forward to his appearance and conservative ideas.”
“During the Iowa Freedom Summit, I mentioned that it is exactly the right time to bring our national leaders to Iowa to hear them cast a conservative vision for our Nation’s future,” said Congressman Steve King. “Now, we are coming together in South Carolina for conservatives around the nation to engage, evaluate leaders, and to further the conservative agenda. The South Carolina Freedom Summit will further energize conservatives and continue the caucus and primary season in earnest. I’m very glad to join Citizens United and Representative Jeff Duncan this unique opportunity in South Carolina this coming May.”
Congressman King will speak with confirmed speakers Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor Rick Perry, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Rick Santorum, and Congressman Marsha Blackburn and will be held at the Peace Center in Greenville. Additional speakers to be announced in the near future
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The Clintons: What’s Past Is Prologue
They’ve been involved with questionable donors since the 1990s.
As I read the recent reports about the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of contributions from foreign governments, I couldn’t help but think about the past. More specifically, I thought of my time as chief investigator for U.S. House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight in the 1990s.
I led the investigation into the millions of dollars in contributions that came into the 1996 Clinton-Gore reelection campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from illegal foreign sources, and whether that money influenced policy and access during the Clinton administration. To quote Yogi Berra, it’s like déjà vu all over again.
The latest foreign-money episode involving the Clinton Foundation ties together many different storylines that I’ve become accustomed to with the Clinton modus operandi, and it tells us a great deal about the challenges Secretary Clinton will face if she becomes a candidate for president.
One prime indicator that a 2016 Clinton campaign could look like a sequel to Old School is how the Clintons continue to be so overly defensive with public relations and damage control. Look at how longtime Clinton moneyman and current Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe tried to defend Secretary Clinton for accepting foreign money to her foundation:
If the biggest attack on Hillary’s going to be that she raised too much money for her charity, okay, I’ll take that. . . . No one’s alleging anything beyond that she raised money and people gave her money and foreign governments gave her money.
McAuliffe served as co-chairman of the Bill Clinton reelection campaign in 1996 and was responsible for coordinating the brazen rental of the Lincoln Bedroom to wealthy donors and shaking down big labor unions. He was Clinton’s main fundraiser when the campaign and the DNC took in millions in illegal foreign money.
McAuliffe is the last person who should be out front on a shady-fundraising story. Listening to McAuliffe try to reassure the public about what’s appropriate when it comes to fundraising is truly discomforting, given his record. And that brings us to another Clinton flaw: The Clintons can survive only if the American people forget history. Nostalgia is a powerful feeling. Sometimes we remember only the good. But with the Clintons, we should know better.
I was surprised to find online a U.S. Justice Department press release from January 2001 that announced a prosecution by the old Campaign Finance Task Force. The guilty plea being publicized on that particular day was by longtime Clinton friend and donor James Riady:
Riady is one of 26 people and two corporations charged by the Campaign Financing [sic] Task Force, which was established four years ago by Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate allegations of campaign financing abuses in the 1996 election cycle.
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Governor Pataki to speak at the South Carolina Freedom Summit
Greenville, SC – Citizens United and Congressman Jeff Duncan are pleased to announce that Governor George Pataki will speak at the “South Carolina Freedom Summit” in Greenville, South Carolina on Saturday, May 9th 2015.
“Citizens United is excited and honored to have Governor Pataki join us for our South Carolina Freedom Summit this coming May. With momentum and success from our previous Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines and New Hampshire Freedom Summit in Manchester, it has never been a better time to organize conservative leaders and supporters at this exciting grassroots event,” said David N. Bossie, President of Citizens United “This is a free event, focusing on how America can get back on the right path by highlighting guest speakers who will talk about economic growth, social conservatism, and a strong national defense. We are excited to host Governor Pataki and look forward to his ideas on conservative principles.”
“It’s an honor to be invited to the Citizens United and Congressman Jeff Duncan South Carolina Freedom Summit on May 9th,” says Governor Pataki. “From an expansive federal government to a ‘lead from behind’ dangerous foreign policy, it’s high noon for American freedom. Leading up to 2016, it’s important for potential candidates to articulate how conservative policies and leadership will set our nation back on the right track. After seeing the tremendous success of previous Citizens United Freedom Summits, I look forward to this grassroots experience and speaking directly to the great people of South Carolina.”
The summit will feature remarks from Governor Pataki and confirmed speakers Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor Rick Perry, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Rick Santorum, and Congressman Marsha Blackburn and will be held at the Peace Center in Greenville. Additional speakers to be announced in the near future.
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The New York Times: Using Private Email, Hillary Clinton Thwarted Record Requests
WASHINGTON — In 2012, congressional investigators asked the State Department for a wide range of documents related to the attack on the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. The department eventually responded, furnishing House committees with thousands of documents.
But it turns out that that was not everything.
The State Department had not searched the email account of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because she had maintained a private account, which shielded it from such searches, department officials acknowledged on Tuesday.
It was only last month that the House committee appointed to investigate Benghazi was provided with about 300 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails related to the attacks. That was shortly after Mrs. Clinton turned over, at the State Department’s request, some 50,000 pages of government-related emails that she had kept on her private account.
It was one of several instances in which records requests sent to the State Department, which had no access to Mrs. Clinton’s emails, came up empty.
In 2013, Nitasha Tiku, then a reporter for Gawker, filed a Freedom of Information Act request, seeking all correspondence on Mrs. Clinton’s private email account between her and Sidney Blumenthal, a close adviser and onetime staff member in the Clinton White House. Some of those emails had already spilled into public view and been reported in the news media. But the State Department told Gawker that it could find no records responsive to the request, Gawker reported.
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